As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example, to lead and inspire a team individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But, how do these business leaders go about their daily routine?
Business Leader spoke to Kevin Batley – CEO of Sahara Presentation Systems about his working day.
WHAT TIME DO YOU USUALLY WAKE UP?
My alarm goes off at 6.30 and I generally jump straight out of bed.
WHAT DO YOU TYPICALLY HAVE FOR BREAKFAST?
Ok – I admit to being a child at heart. I still love a bowl of shreddies and a cup of tea to start me off for the day.
WHAT IS THE REST OF YOUR MORNING ROUTINE BEFORE YOU START WORK?
I always spend 30 to 45 minutes reading the Daily Telegraph over breakfast – starting off with the sports pages and moving on to the business section.
WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU DO AT THE START OF YOUR WORKING DAY?
As soon as I arrive in the office, I grab a cup of coffee and then settle down to catch up on emails and prioritise anything I need to deal with immediately. I’ll generally have planned my day the night before – so anything new and urgent will go straight onto the list. I’ll check my diary and if I have time, I’ll schedule in a couple of ad hoc meetings with team managers, so I can be bought up to date with what’s happening across the business.
HOW DO YOU PRIORITISE YOUR DAY’S WORK?
I’ll start with a plan of what I want to achieve for the day – but it’s not very often I get to the end of it. In the business I work in I can’t be too prescriptive, and I’m often called into meetings to discuss issues as they arise. To be honest, I need to be relatively flexible. I need the bandwidth to deal with any unexpected challenges as they happen. We are focused on our customers and people – and ultimately, they will always come top of the agenda.
DO YOU PLAN MEETINGS OR ARE THEY A WASTE OF TIME?
I don’t have meetings for the sake of meetings – but if there is a clear purpose and agreed outcomes, I believe they are an essential component to a successful business.
DO YOU HAVE A WORKING LUNCH OR IS IT GOOD TO TAKE A BREAK?
Sahara is a privately-run business – my brother Nigel Batley is CFO. So, we’ll usually decamp to either one of our offices, and have a chat over lunch. But we don’t talk shop the whole time – we’ll discuss everything from the latest football results, what we’re doing at the weekend and anything to do with the family. It’s important to give your brain a bit of a break from the pressures of work.
WHEN DOES YOUR WORKING DAY FINISH?
There’s no real set time, it’s as and when my work is done. As long as I feel I can generally tick off a few more things from the day’s plan or action, my day will come to a natural end. I also think it’s important that I’m one of the last to leave – it demonstrates to employees that I’m committed to the business within which they work.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR THE NEXT DAY’S WORK?
My last task of the day is to review my list of things to do and update what I want to achieve the next day. Although my day is often disrupted by the unexpected, it keeps me on track and moving forward in the right direction.
FAVOURITE PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY?
My phone is invaluable to my life, not just my business. I’m sure like most people I rely far too much on it, and it knows far too much about me! But I also love my Apple Watch – I have to fight the urge to say ‘Beam me up Scottie’ whenever I use it!
HOW DO YOU SWITCH OFF?
I’m not very good at relaxing – but the most relaxed I can be is when I’m on my boat in the Med. I still can’t stop myself checking my emails – but I might not launch into action quite so quickly!
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED?
I was told that people make a business – and I’ve always sought to recruit people that I believe are right for our business. Creating an environment where people like working, where they are inspired to be their best, are supportive of each other and where they can develop a passion for the industry they are working in is fundamental to the success of the Sahara Presentations Group.
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